Baker extends unemployment benefits to locked out workers
BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has signed legislation to extend unemployment benefits for locked out employees of utility National Grid.
By signing the legislation Monday, the Republican ensured that about 1,200 union workers who have been locked out since July won’t exhaust their unemployment benefits as originally scheduled in January.
Democratic leaders have repeatedly called on the electric and natural gas utility to end the lockout.
The unions involved in the dispute tweeted out their thanks to the governor.
The United Steelworkers union and utility management have signaled that a breakthrough in the labor dispute might be in sight, although weekend negotiations did not conclude with a deal.
Baker has filed separate legislation that would require more advanced oversight on natural gas projects which carried potential risks to public safety.